When You Need a Permit and the Permit Process

From The Horeseshoe Bay Beacon, Notes from the City

When You Need a Building Permit and the Permit Process

By Eric Winter, Development Services Manager

Perhaps you are planning some remodeling work, a pool or a deck, or need to replace some siding or do a re-roof? Of all of the things you need to think about in your planning for the work, you may not be thinking about whether or not you need a building permit, and the process for obtaining a building permit. I am writing this article to provide you with information about when you do need a permit and when you don't and the process of how to obtain a permit when needed.

When is a permit required?

In addition to new construction of a house, duplex, multi-family condominium or apartment building, manufactured home, marina, or commercial building, you will need a building permit for each of the following:

  • Remodeling work that requires any new or relocated electrical or plumbing work, an addition, the closing in of a patio, conversion of a garage into living space, a reroof, and any work that involves moving or removal of a load bearing wall; and
  • Any accessory structure, including a swimming pool, spa, fence, deck, patio, balcony, porch, propane tank, boat house, a garage, boat dock/boat slip, ski-doo lift, arbor, tennis courts, retaining wall over 6 feet tall, sea wall, bulkhead, or storage building (only in Horseshoe Bay South).

 Items that do not require a permit include:

  • Ordinary repairs to structures or inside remodeling work that does not require any new or relocated electrical or plumbing work, or the removal of any part of a bearing wall;
  • Painting of the outside of the building (Approval of the color by the appropriate Architectural Control Committee is required);
  • Window awnings extending less than 54 inches from the exterior wall and which do not require additional support;
  • Minor electrical and plumbing repairs, except when pipes need to be replaced;
  • Replacement of household heating and air-conditioning compressors, air handlers or other mechanical devices; and
  • Installation of antenna's for satellite television or internet connections.

 After you have completed your plans, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Obtain ACC Approval prior to submitting any application to the City. You must submit 4 sets of your plans and other documents to the respective Architectural Control Committee (ACC) for their review and approval. Some ACC's have regularly scheduled meetings (like the Horseshoe Bay ACC which oversees Horseshoe Bay Proper, Horseshoe Bay West and Horseshoe Bay South, and meets every Monday morning at 10:00 A.M. at the Bay Center Building, 6700 FM 2147, for which plans must be submitted by the Friday before), while others only meet on an as needed basis.
  2. Submit the Application, Plans and Checklist to the City. After your plans are approved by the ACC, you need to bring 3 copies of the stamped and signed approved plans to Development Services in order to apply for a building permit. The Building Permit Application and Checklist can be downloaded from our website (Development Services), or you can obtain the forms from the Development Services Department at City Hall, #1 Community Drive, during normal business hours - Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The City uses ATS Engineers in Austin to do both the plan reviews and the required inspections. Plan reviews are usually completed in 3 to 5 business days.
  3. Development Services issues the building permit. Once ATS has approved your plans, and any other utility, addressing, and other approvals are completed, the Development Services Technician will call you to let you know the building permit is ready to be paid for and picked up. The permit fee is based on the type of construction and covers the cost of the application, the plan review, and all inspections.
  4. Call for required inspections. You or your contractor must call the Development Services Department at 830-598-9959 before 5 PM the day before the inspection is needed, for each required inspection to make certain the work conforms to the permit, local codes and the approved plans. The ATS Plan Review explains what inspections are required for each type of project in the order they are required. When all required inspections have been done, and any items found needing correction have been completed, call the Development Services Department and request a final inspection. For new residences, after the final inspection is approved by ATS, you will need to request a Certificate of Occupancy from Development Services so that all utilities can be turned on and you will be able to occupy the residence.
Development Services staff are happy to assist you with your building projects and answer any questions you may have. Call Jessica Noaker at 830-598-9959.

Press Release – The Horseshoe Bay Beacon, Around the Bay-Notes from the City

Thursday, June 25, 2015.